Student should sue Cobb schools for way treated
September 17, 2013 10:30 PM | 2182 views | 10 10 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEAR EDITOR: Re: Case of Allatoona High School student Andrew Williams, who faces expulsion for having a pocket knife in the console of his locked car while parked on campus

I was a substitute teacher in Cobb County for 19 years and saw everything under the sun going on. Granted, there are a lot of “bad” kids in school who are totally out of control.

That said, there are also a lot of very good kids in school who are serious about their education and have plans for college and their careers.

I have seen good kids treated like criminals. They can be searched; their lockers can be searched and their cars can be searched without a warrant. This boy should have called his parents before he let the principal have his car searched, but most young people will do what the principal says and don’t even think about calling their parents.

I carry a compact set of tools in my console in case I need them if I have car trouble.

Most adults probably have some type of tool or small knife in their car. If the schools want to enforce these outrageous rules, they need to search the thousands of cars that the parents are driving to school to drop their children off and pick them up every day.

My now 20-year-old grandson got suspended from school in the 3rd grade because he kissed a girl on the playground. They accused him of “sexual harassment.” When he got home, he had to ask his mother what sexual harassment meant.

Our school administrators do not use any common sense and because of this, they can ruin a child’s life forever.

Over the years that I substituted, I had several kids who gave me a lot of trouble but I just dealt with them one on one. I thought a few of them were going to end up in prison. However, one of them became an attorney, another one a manager at Walmart; one of them became a missionary, another got a high-paying job at an automobile repair shop.

School administrators need to use some discretion before they get the police involved. They are going by the letter of the law, not the intent of the law. I hope this young man gets a good attorney and judge who will go after the school administrator and sue them for the unwarranted search of his car.

Naomi Storey

Comments-icon Post a Comment
October 01, 2013
The law in question, O.C.G.A. 16-11-127.1 was enacted by the legislature in the early 1990's. To get permission to park at school, the student waives any right to privacy of his or her vehicle, it is after all, parked on private property-not public property. These rules(laws) are given to the students each year and they sign and acknowledge they have read them and will abide by them. Signage is on the property quoting the law as well. How many times do people have to be told that they cannot bring weapons of any kind on school property? This includes knives, razor blades, nunchaku, oriental stars, tasers, stun guns and any knife having a blade of two or more inches. It is a felony and has been since the early 1990's. An adult faces 10 years in prison for violating this statute. If you have a weapon as defined in that code section and you bring attention to yourself through some other violation, then you are asking for major legal trouble. The key is - don't have a weapon at school and you won't be arrested. How hard is that?
Veteran Teacher
September 19, 2013
After 20 years as a high school teacher in Cobb County I find myself wondering what happened to common sense. It seems to have gone out of fashion. It is time to restore flexibility and good judgement to the administrative arm of the school system. As educators we are expected to promote the welfare of our students, not look for ways to put up barriers to success.
September 19, 2013
There is never "merely a substitute." Substitute teachers work hard and care for the students under their tutelage.
September 18, 2013
I can well understand why you were merely a "substitute"...and not full time teacher.

What you apparently fail to grasp, even at your age, is that school rules are put in place for a reason and, if you are unwilling to obey them, simply attend school may also wish to share that with your physically aggressive grandson.

Simple enough for you?
Kenneth D. Parrott
September 18, 2013
May-Retta Survivor,

What you seem to fail to grasp is the absolute and total idiocy of this entire incident. A "utility" knife in the console of a locked car is grounds for expulsion? Are you for real? Idiotic rules are just that, and must therefore be enforced by idiots and supported by idiots.

Once upon a time you could carry your pocket knife to school, IN YOUR POCKET, and even bring your hunting rifle to show to your friends after school. Golly gee, there was not ever a single school shooting back then, never. Now the trained idiots would have you believe that guns and knives are the problem. If you are able to hear thunder and see lightning, you must certainly know that is not the truth.

The truth is; society is being manipulated toward more government control, less freedom, and further from the Constitution. Pay attention, stay involved, or suffer the consequences.

September 22, 2013
@Kenneth D. Parrott: You keep dropping that old "once upon a time" mantra why? The FACT is, you'd better wake up, because THOSE "once upon a time" days are long, long gone!

"Once Upon A Time" we could leave our doors unlocked.

"Once Upon A Time" people got married before having children.

"Once Upon A Time" people took pride in working..rather then depending on lifelong handouts.

"Once Upon A Time" Respect for others and family was not a Foreign Concept.

"Once Upon A Time" parents taught their children to obey rules.

"Once Upon A Time" our schools were safe havens for children and their education and students DID NOT bring drugs, guns and knives. Sadly, Mr. Parrott, now they do AND, as a result, laws outlawing these items have been established!

Therefore, I suggest to you that you WAKE UP, ACT YOUR AGE, and STOP trying to be some ridiculous "Question Authority" type.

Quit being part of the problem and start being part of the solution! I can assure you that the rest of us will thank you.
Kenneth D. Parrott
September 23, 2013
May-retta Survivor,

I am awake, and I will agree with your first five points. However; the remainder of your comments clearly display your ignorance. Once upon a time, we did bring knives and guns to school, but not drugs. (at least I did not bring drugs and no one that I knew did. I will always question authority; they deserve it, and if they cannot tolerate it they do not deserve to be in "authority".

You want me to quit being a part of the "problem"?

First, you must understand the problem, and clearly, your ignorance does not allow you to. Just go play in the road.

What part of the solution do you think you are? I see nothing in you but a "wanna-be" problem solver. You are merely a name-calling, doofus, and not a full time anything. I sincerely hope you were never able to teach any children.
Seems to fit
September 18, 2013
If this kid were a minority I would bet "From Texas" and MARETTA" and several others would be calling him a drug thug and gang member. Not trying to play the race card but it seems to fit many comment I have seen here.
September 19, 2013
@"seems to fit"; Actually he is a (white) minority in Georgia isn't he...and you DID play the "race card" didn't you?
Vegas K
September 19, 2013
I totally agree with you when you say administrators are going by the letter of the law and not the intent of the law. Most of us did not make the best decisions when we were teenagers, but we get better with decision making over time. These children don't even get time to grow up before they are stamped as a second-class citizen by a criminal conviction. In this case the school had no right to search the students car. I am not sure if the student as a minor can even give consent to search a car where the title is not in his/her name. I am on my way to law school, but if I was an attorney I would definitely take this case.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides